International Day of Human Space Flight for the year 2024 is celebrated/observed on Wednesday, April 12th. There are until the next observance.

The United Nations declared April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight in 2011 to celebrate humanity’s first excursion into space. It commemorates the first human space voyage, performed in 1961 by Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin. The festival commemorates the commencement of human space travel. Cosmonautics Day has been celebrated in Russia and other countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union since 1963.

📆 When is International Day of Human Space Flight?

This year, International Day of Human Space Flight is on April 12th. It is the 2nd Wednesday in April; in 2024, it is on Friday.

Countdown to International Day of Human Space Flight

Did you know: In 1971, the Soviet Union launched the first space station, Salyut 1, and in 1986, Mir became the first permanently staffed station.

You can also explore all exciting things you didn’t know about and facts about April 12, 2023.

📜 History of International Day of Human Space Flight

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launched the first manned spaceflight in human history. The Vostok 1 mission, which launched from Soviet Kazakhstan, completed one orbit of the Earth in 108 minutes. Gagarin’s accomplishment marked the start of the space age and paved the way for future scientific, technological, and cosmological research.

Gagarin’s voyage was preceded by the 1957 launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite, the first object launched into space by mankind. The success of Sputnik demonstrated that entering space was not impossible. After Gagarin’s orbit, American John Glenn’s spacewalk in 1962 and Valentina Tereshkova’s walk as the first woman in space in 1963 followed.

The triumphs of the Soviet and American space programs sparked a full-fledged space race in the 1960s, in which the two countries competed to explore the last frontier. Among their accomplishments are the 1998 launch of a permanent space station, the 1976 development of the reusable space shuttle, and, of course, the 1969 manned voyage to the Moon. Since then, numerous humans have left their mark in space, with 574 individuals from 41 countries having entered Earth’s orbit and beyond as of 2021. Gagarin demonstrated to the world that traveling into space was conceivable, and the world is better for it today. Yuri’s Night, another international commemoration of Gagarin’s spacewalk, has also been observed since 2001.

☑️ International Day of Human Space Flight facts

The first animal to enter space
Two Soviet dogs became the first vertebrate animals to travel into space, flying 70 miles (and landing safely) in 1951.

Many holes in one
Alan Shepard was the first (and thus far only) person to play golf on the moon, on the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

The first to enter Venus’ atmosphere
With the Venera 4 probe in 1967, the Soviets were the first to successfully reach the atmosphere of Venus.

Things to do on International Day of Human Space Flight

Tell the story
Have you seen the Space Race? On this day, share your recollections with your friends and family.

Watch films about the first spaceflight
There are several documentaries on the first space trip. Today, watch some of them.

Raise awareness on social media
Spread the word about this important occasion. Let us all be proud of our achievements.

📅 International Day of Human Space Flight Observances

YEAR DATE DAY
2023 April 12 Wednesday
2024 April 12 Friday
2025 April 12 Saturday
2026 April 12 Sunday
2027 April 12 Monday

You can view all April holidays, including Special Interest and other Appreciation holidays.

We will continue to update this page with new information and must-know facts about International Day of Human Space Flight. So be sure to check back soon.